One is wary of shopping lists and I am not looking to animate a monster made from my favourite parts of previous partners. But nonetheless I can see with the benefit of hindsight and wishful thinking which qualities I adore and what aspects of a person would excite me most and what they’d have that would keep me coming back.
Naturally a large part of my list is the same as yours and everyone’s; lust, laughter, compassion and commitment, shared tastes and appetites, social, political & philosophical compatibility, understanding, intelligence and thoughtfulness and ultimately some sort of inescapable co-dependency.
Additionally, I want someone with a burning sense of curiosity and a terror of the end of life that animates their every waking moment. Both in the sense of being able to smell the flowers and feel they really matter and in being driven on by creeping death. At 31 I feel a failure to have reached this point with so little show for myself and this is what drives me forward. I look for the same in a partner, not that we would be in competition, for the most meaningful achievements are measured not by plaudits but by your own internal critic. A life shared with someone on a similar self-imposed quest would provide the knowledge, support and spur to keep going.
So it seems inescapable that he or she will be an artist or writer (though perhaps preferably an amateur not a pro). Someone who is haunted by a creative urge. So much of what I admire in art and literature is not the finished work itself but the culmination of a creative process that it represents and how that has been achieved. I get very involved in these parallel universes, some I wish I could inhabit, some I wish I had created, though the two rarely overlap because I do not wish to escape reality. I wish to understand it and possess enough control to lovingly mock it. To know reality well enough to see which bits can be ignored. But as I get there, I don’t want to be alone, I want someone who will agree about what has value and what is just another comforting lie for those unable to cope with the unsettling absurdity of existence.
Strangely or not, I need these things more than I need love, they are pre-requisite before I can give or receive it. For anyone with self-awareness and belief, adoration is devalued if it comes from someone you respect less than you do yourself.
It’s not much to ask, is it?